Shark Tank

Once upon a time, not long ago, I routinely spent my Friday evenings cozied up on my couch, sharing a bowl of popcorn with my sweet pup and watching ABC’s Shark Tank. Have you seen it? Might seem like a sad way to spend a Friday evening, but when you live alone and feel like watching TV on a Friday night and don’t have cable, it doesn’t get much better than Shark Tank. If you’ve never watched it before, the premise of the show is that entrepreneurs with promising products or inventions present their ideas before a panel of über-successful businessmen and women, or sharks, with the goal of convincing one of the sharks to invest in their companies. I’d watch the show with my laptop close by so I could google the products to see if they actually existed (Cupcakes in a jar? Interchangeable heels for your shoes?). Lame though it sounds, it was something I looked forward to every week for a few months, especially when I was housebound with that wretched cough that lasted for nine weeks.

Sometimes, I’d even try to think of ideas that might be viable competitors on the show. My grandpa’s baklava recipe, for which I won a red ribbon at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair, for example. I’d think, could I possibly make baklava in huge quantities without losing quality? 

In the last two days, I came up with two more ideas. I’m not sure which would be more successful, but I’m pretty sure that with the right sales pitch, I might be able to earn a small fortune. I thought I could either bottle up this stomach bug I have and market it as a highly effective, albeit it painful and intense, weight-loss solution; or, perhaps more pragmatic for me at this time, I could engineer some kind of contraption that is both a bed and a toilet all in one. And while I’m at it, I’d also add a bucket for vomiting on one end, just for good measure. I never knew it was possible to vomit and  have, well, you know, the other thing, at the exact same time, but in recent months, and especially in the last couple of days, I have learned that it is very much indeed possible. And it is even more unpleasant than I ever imagined.

It seems that there is about a twelve-hour lag between M.’s and my symptoms, so at least when one of us seems to be feeling marginally better, we can help the other. Yesterday it was I who felt better, so I was able to get a few things cleaned up around the house while M. spent most of the day between the bed and the bathroom. Today, my symptoms have returned in the form of wrenching stomach cramps, so he has been the care-taker. Meanwhile, Frieda, our constant companion, remains by our sides at all times. Sweet girl.

We both took sick days from work today. I thought long and hard about it, because let’s face it: as a teacher, it’s usually a lot more inconvenient to take a sick day than it is to go to work feeling under the weather, but I figured that waking up with stabbing abdominal pains qualified as more than under the weather. Besides, what kind of teacher would I be if I passed this on to one of my students?

During a brief bout of feeling a bit more energized, I managed to make a huge pot of chicken soup this afternoon, which I hope will have us on the mend quickly. Being sick irritates me. Being so sick that we couldn’t even watch Homeland on Sunday night… well, that’s something else entirely. (Don’t worry, we caught up yesterday.)

We’ve been drinking our fluids and eating saltines like they’re going out of style, yet we are both down about five pounds. Mostly, if not all, water weight, I am sure. Still, I wonder if the sharks would invest in a little bottle of stomach-flu-weight-loss-product. I suppose I’d need to come up with a more innovative name for it first.

Thank you for reading!

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